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Welcome to the Tampa Alcohol Coalition

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Are You Concerned About Underage Drinking and Impaired Driving?
Tampa Alcohol Coalition's (TAC) mission is to prevent underage drinking and impaired driving.TAC is a subcommittee of the Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance (HCADA). Get involved- come to a TAC meeting to learn more about underage drinking, impaired driving, responsible vendor training, and safe rides. Network with other concerned citizens- including parents, students, university administrators, business owners and law enforcement officers. Go to Events for TAC monthly meeting dates, locations and times. To contact TAC, click here.

Learn more about your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the new "Watch Your BAC" app! If you go out and have a few drinks, make sure you use a designated driver or call for a safe ride. Don't be that DUI Guy- call a safe ride.

Lightning Foundation Community Hero Award
Linda Unfried, Founder and President of MADD Hillsborough was awarded the Lightning Community Hero Award on November 14, 2013, for her tireless work over the past 30 years to prevent DUI and impaired driving crashes and fatalities. Linda's passion to reduce DUI and underage drinking began when her beloved sister Josie was killed by an underage drunk driver in 1983. See the Lightning video about Linda's work to stop drunk driving. Linda generously gave $30,000 of her award to MADD and $20,000 to HCADA/TAC for preventing underage drinking in Hillsborough County middle schools. Thanks to Linda Unfried and the Lightning Foundation for helping prevent DUI and underage drinking in our community!

Upcoming TAC Meetings 2014
Next meetings will be held on October 21 and November 18 at 3:00 pm at the Tampa Police Department at 9330 N. 30th Street.

HCSO SAVE Award
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office annual SAVE responsible vendor recognition was awarded in May 2013 to the Dallas Bull (Media release) for their responsible vendor practices and work to reduce DUI and underage drinking in 2012. There was a reduction in DUi arrests of patrons leaving the establishment by 52% during 2012.The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa was awarded the 2011 SAVE Responsible Vendor award for their contributions toward reducing impaired driving and underage drinking in Hillsborough County. HCSO SAVE Award Media Release Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa President John Fontana presented TAC with a generous donation of $5,000 to support underage drinking prevention programs. Thanks to the Dallas Bull and Seminole Hard Rock Casino for helping to keep our roads safe and being great community partners!

Did you know that 7 people die in Florida every day from prescription drug overdose?
The Florida legislature listened to your concerns and passed prescription drug abuse legislation to help stop "doctor shopping" and provide state funding for the prescription drug monitoring program, see article.

2014 Florida Alcohol Legislation

Alcohol bills currently being considered by the Florida Legislature for the 2014 session: HB 283 related to growlers and beer tastings; HB 387/SB 470 related to beer tastings; SB 406 related to growlers/ beer tastings..HB 877 would allow hard liquour to be sold in supermarkets such as Walmart. TAC is against allowing spirits/ hard liquor to be sold in supermarkets because it would increase access to alcohol for persons under the age of 21.

2011 Open House Party Legislation Successfully Passed
Florida substance abuse prevention coalitions advocated for the "Open House Party" bills that passed in both the House and Senate. HB 105 was signed by the Governor in 2011. The law increases the penalties for open house parties. Click here for more information about the law that went into effect on July 1, 2011 on the Florida Coalition for Alcohol Policy (FCAP) site. Parents and other adults need to be aware that it is against the law to allow underage drinking parties in Florida!

Profile of Alcohol and Drug Indicators for Hillsborough County
University of South Florida researchers Dr. Kathleen Moore and Dr. Scott Young conducted a community substance abuse assessment of Hillsborough County for the Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance.  Check out the latest edition of our 2013 Profile of Alcohol and Drug Indicators in Hillsborough County.

Florida Alcohol Laws
Are you up to date on Florida's alcohol laws? Click here for the current Florida alcoholic beverage statutes.  Do you know the penalties for driving under the influence in Florida? Click here for a link to Florida DUI laws

   

Click on the link to view the "Don't Drink and Drive" ad sponsored by TAC/ HCADA that ran on WTOG 44, featuring the story of John Templeton's DUI crash that took the life of Julie Buchner: Don't Drink and Drive (wmv file)

      For a Safe Ride, Call ZINGO at 888-ZINGO-11

 

Zingo and the HCSO SAVE program in the News!

St. Petersburg Times article: MacDinton's Bar, Zingo Team up to Keep Impaired Drivers off the Road. Customers still pack the popular bar on weekends, but MacDinton's co-owner Barry O'Connor said they tend to choose happy hour specials and well drinks these days over top-shelf splurges. And, with the recession lingering and purse strings tightening, he worried that fewer would be willing to spend the extra money if they needed a ride home. The solution? The S Howard Avenue bar has partnered with the designated-driver company Zingo to zip intoxicated customers home on the bar's dime. Read article in the SPT

   

TAC on WMNF
http://wmnf.org/news/2009/11?page=2 (scroll down the page to see)

Gasparilla Update

DUI Education: The Megan Napier Foundation http://themeagannapierfoundation.com/

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

If you or someone you know has been affected by a drunk driving crash, MADD can help:

MADD Hillsborough County

1107 E. Jackson St.  #208

Tampa, FL  33602

(813) 273-6233

email: Becky.Gage@madd.org

 

Going Out to Party? Find a Sober Ride!
Don't become a statistic. Designate a driver or call a cab if you drink alcoholic beverages while you are out on the town. AAA provides Tow to Go; call 1-800-AAA-HELP(222-4357). Tow to Go will provide you a ride and your car will be towed safely home on holidays.. Another option is Zingo. Zingo provides a driver who comes to you on a motorized scooter. The driver folds up the scooter, placing it in your trunk, then drives you safely home. St. Petersburg Times story on Zingo. Need a Zingo driver? Call 1-888-946-4611 or go to Zingo Tampa

 

Has your drinking led to health, legal, social or financial problems?
If you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available. Call Alcoholics Anonymous at 813-933-9123 or go to the website for meeting times/ locations in the Tampa area: Tri-County Central Office of Alcoholics Anonymous

 

Why age 21?
The Amethyst Initiative advocates for opening a debate about the legal drinking age. A group  130 college presidents have signed on to this initiative, because they say the 21 drinking age "is not working". The Initiative suggests that lowering the drinking age might help reduce high risk drinking  and encourage "more responsible" drinking by persons under the age of 21. But, research shows that when the drinking age was lowered to 18 years old in many states in the 70's, there was an increase in teen binge drinking and a jump in alcohol related injuries and fatalities in the 16 to 20 year old age group. Then in the 1980's, when the age was increased to 21, binge drinking and alcohol-related crash rates fell. TAC supports the minimum drinking age of 21 because it saves lives. The Amethyst Initiative and the resulting media coverage gives coalitions a great opportunity to advocate for more effective science-based strategies to prevent high-risk drinking.

 

AGE 21 RESOURCES

 

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office "BATmobile" Breath Testing vehicle is ready for action at the June 20, 2008 DUI checkpoint hosted by Tampa Police Department on the Courtney Campbell Causeway. See Events for photos from the July 4th DUI Checkpoint in Tampa.HCSO DUI Squad Calendar for dates of upcoming DUI checkpoints and saturations.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office S.A.V.E. program- working with alcohol vendors to save lives. The Sheriff collects information (last drink surveys) from persons arrested for DUI regarding the source of their alcohol. The Sheriff's Alcohol Vendor Enforcement (SAVE) program works with vendors who have been identified through the last drink surveys and compliance checks, and offesr them an educational program to help prevent DUI and underage drinking in alcohol establishments. For more information on the Sheriff's SAVE program please go to HCSO SAVE Program

Alcohol and the Teen Brain                                                                           
According to the New York Times article The Grim Neurology of Teenage Drinking, a young person's brain is still developing into the early twenties, and underage drinking can adversely affect the developing brain. "There is no doubt about it now: there are long-term cognitive consequences to excessive drinking of alcohol in adolescence," said Aaron White, an assistant research professor in the psychiatry department at Duke University. For more information on alcohol's effects on the brain and underage drinking research, Dr. White is a member of a NIAAA team that researches underage drinking. NIAAA Underage Drinking Research Initiative.

Alcohol Environment
One approach for reducing alcohol and other drug problems is community-based prevention programs. These programs focus on changing the environment in which a person consumes alcohol rather than the behavior of the individual drinker. Increasing enforcement of underage drinking laws, restricting cheap and free drink specials and changing the bar entrance age to 21 and up are all effective ways to change the alcohol environment and reduce youth access to alcohol. Community Coalitions that focus on underage drinking can make a big impact on changing the alcohol environment.

Florida Alcohol Laws
Florida alcohol laws are not as strict as other states. In Florida, 18 year olds can patronize and work in bars. There are no restrictions on "drink specials" such as "Kill the Keg" and Ladies Drink Free". Bars can offer drinking games such as "beer pong". Florida is one of only 3 states in the US that do not have a criminal law against serving obviously intoxicated persons. Florida's dram shop law is weak; it states that bar employees who serve obviously intoxicated persons over age 21 are not civilly liable (unless the intoxicated person is a habitual drunkard).Learn more about Florida Alcohol Policy and policy resources for coalitions, click on the TAC Alcohol Policy Page.

Report underage drinking parties, bars that allow underage drinking and alcohol sales to minors:
HCSO CrimeStoppers Tips Line: 1-800-873-TIPS (for Hillsborough County) Or click here to report an anonymous tip online

Tragic End to the Life of a Public Servant

Early in the morning on Wednesday, August 15, 2007, Sergeant Ronald Harrison, supervisor of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office 3 D DUI squad was shot and killed after completing a successful DUI checkpoint in Brandon. The man who murdered Sgt. Harrison had a high blood alcohol level, according to the medical examiner report. Sergeant Harrison served the Sheriff's Office for more than 27 years, and was active on several boards and community groups, including the Tampa Alcohol Coalition. He dedicated his life to public safety. Ron Harrison will be greatly missed. Read the reflections about Sgt. Ron Harrison on his Officer Down Memorial Page

Do you drink too much? Find out by taking the quiz below. Click on "Is my drinking risky?"

HCADA logo

Tampa Alcohol Coalition is a subcommittee of the Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance.

Do you have questions about Tampa Alcohol Coalition or comments on this website? Contact er.snelling@verizon.net

 

 
       
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